"It is likely for us to take it over. We have a large amount of funds. It could be state banks or joint businesses to do so," he said at his office.
He threw his weight behind the plan by state mining company PT Aneka Tambang Tbk and state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to buy Inalum shares from the Japanese company.
Yet the takeover still depended on the auction of the central government's stake in the company through its investment arm Pusat Investasi Pemerintah (PIP), he said.
"If we are to take it over, we will look at the terms and conditions of the auction first. In case of domestic support, we will go ahead," he said.
In the 2012 state budget, the government has allocated Rp2 trillion for PIP to acquire a 58.88 percent stake in the aluminum smelter in North Sumatra. The government currently holds a 41.12 percent stake in Inalum.
Dahlan said proceeds from the auction of Inalum shares would go to the state which would acquire the Inalum stake in 2013. Nippon Asahan Aluminum must sell its entire stake in Inalum in October 2013 to comply with Indonesian rules.
"After the shares have been owned by the state they will be put to auction. It is likely priority will be given to domestic companies or the shares will be sold through an open auction. What is clear the government funds used to take over the Inalum shares will be returned after the auction," he said.
Inalum produces 230,000 tons of aluminum a year. Nearly 40 percent of the output is sold in the domestic market and 60 percent to the Japanese market.(*/T007)